Back in May last year I just happened to notice on social media that Simon Crow was going to run 5 one to one tutorials later in the year. I knew that these would go fast and so decided to risk my life by asking Lucy if it was ok to get in touch with Simon and book to go fishing with him. Why was this such a big risk you ask? Well we were on honeymoon when I saw the post so I was going to be in trouble on every level. In fairness I must say that Lucy puts up with my Carp obsession and lets me get away with loads, even this!
I met Simon early on a Saturday morning at Emmotlands Fishery in East Yorkshire. We were booked onto Lake 4 which is by no means a runs water but holds a number of decent sized mirrors.
I should have realised from what I already knew about Simon and his style of fishing that what was about to happen would be completely different to how I would approach the situation.
Leaving most of the gear in the cars we went for our first lap of Lake 4 with only a stalking rod, landing net, mixers, hook baits and a bottle of water. Of course we were wearing baseball caps and polarised glasses. As we walked Simon would explain what subtle signs and areas he was looking for, also his thoughts on Carp behaviour and where he thought we would find the Carp.
After completing our first lap we now set off around Lake 1 where we spotted several fish in one corner in some lily pads. We fired a handful or so of mixers into the area and headed back off around the lake feeding a few more spots where we noticed fish. Then it was back round lake 4 and this time I saw 2 carp and noted where I had seen them.
We were soon back at the corner swim on lake 2 and whist the carp were not feeding with gusto all the mixers were gone and any new ones that we introduced were soon taken. After 45 minutes of having our hook bait rejected and pulling the hook out of 2 carps mouths on the take we were starting to think that it was not to be our day. However the Carp were still taking the odd mixer and Simon had just pointed out to me that the large near 30lb common just a foot or two away from the hook bait was moving towards it. It opened its mouth to take in the mixer when out of nowhere another Carp came up and snaffled it before the now massive common could get it.
After what seemed an age and I must say a terrific fight I landed a very orange common of 18lb plus.
Well the day continued with us walking round lakes 4,2 and 1 feeding various areas and walking what seemed to be about 10 miles but unfortunately, the fish did not seem to be in the mood for taking of the top and by late afternoon we decided it was now time to concentrate on getting the rods out ready for bite time on lake 4.
After setting up camp we went over rigs and how they work, baits and indication. Simon was not fishing so it was now time to get my rods on their spots. Two went in areas where Simon had caught fish before and my left hand rod was placed where I had spotted Carp show whilst we were walking round the lakes. We chatted the night away discussing all things Carp, my time in the Army, Simon running marathons and almost everything else you can imagine.
The night passed without me seeing any action from the carp, Simon had to leave at 0900hrs and with 30 minutes left I started to pack the gear away when suddenly the left hand alarm started to sound and I was soon bent into a hard fighting carp. I enjoy the fight a carp gives and it really is the bit I love the most but this carp fought me to the end like no other one has and I can tell you my legs were shaking. Eventually I got her into the landing net and after a couple of minutes to let me calm down we were ready to unhook her and find out just how big she was. Well she turned out to be a personal best mirror at 28lb 8oz. What a fantastic end to the trip.
This 24 hours with Simon has changed my approach completely and was an extremely steep learning curve. Do I do everything the same? No, but certain elements have changed because of what I learnt. So just what areas has Simon had an impact on:
- Time looking for the fish
- Surface fishing
- Fish behaviour
- Bite indication
- Rod setup
- How to approach the session
I would love to spend some more time with Simon but think I would need a couple of years with him to prise all of his knowledge out of his head